The announcement, by managing director Scott Macdonald, follows the news that the restaurant group has sold its site in Bristol and also its Polpo by Ape & Bird in London’s Cambridge Circus.
In a statement, Macdonald admitted that the Bristol Polpo, on Whiteladies Road, wasn’t right for the area and that it had struggled at lunch and early weekdays. The lease has been sold to a local operator.
The company is also marketing its restaurant in Exeter for the same reason, and said it has “positive expectations for the site there”.
“It is never much fun closing a restaurant. It’s much more fun opening them,” said Macdonald.
“We have closed two in the last week after months of negotiations. Neither decision has been sudden, nor have they been easy, but they were both positive in their own ways.”
Macdonald said that the sale of Ape & Bird to Scottish brewer Brewdog - as revealed by BigHospitality yesterday - had followed six months of talks and that it was profitable for every one of the four years it had been open. On the sale he said: “Sometimes you are made an offer you can’t refuse.”
He also insisted the closures were not related to the current economic climate. “We live and work in uncertain times, and it is tempting and convenient to blame change on negative market forces, but our announcement is not part of that narrative. We enjoyed a record-breaking final quarter of 2017 and we are continuing to grow the Polpo and Spuntino brands in 2018.”
The restaurant group still operates in Bristol with its Spuntino brand, which is located at the Cargo 2 development at Wapping Wharf.
More things are in the pipeline for the brand, with Macdonald saying the company will have “a particularly exciting” announcement to make about it soon.
The company currently operates five Polpo restaurants in the capital as well as the Exeter site and another in Brighton, as well as two Spuntinos in Soho and Bristol and Polpetto in Soho.